The Empire Strikes Back has always been a special movie for me. I
was 4 when I saw it first, almost old enough to understand what was going
on. As the darkest and most mysterious movie in the Star Wars
trilogy, Empire contains an indescribable quality which is absent
in all other movies. It is simultaneously self-contained and dependent
on the first film, picturesque and grotesque, with light shining faintly
through the evil that is the Dark Side of the Force.
|Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Special Edition)|
|Stars:||Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, The Droids, etc.|
philosophical statements (heh) aside, I have never enjoyed Empire
more than I did on the re-release opening night. We were lucky enough,
despite Kevin's procrastination, to get tickets for the 11:00 show at
Tiffany Square, one of the better theaters in the Springs. It was a very
cold night, and I drove myself, Shawn, Kevin, Sonja, and Brad to the
We arrived there an hour-and-a-half before the showing
started, and passed the time by playing cards. I would have been
undefeated at Old Maid if I didn't lose that one time. When we finally
got to sit down, we decided to eat all the popcorn before the film
started in order to get the free refill. It was arduous, but we were successful.
:) Kevin was able to talk Shawn into going to get the refill (poor
Shawn, you should have heard him whine! :) But enough about us, let's
get to the movie.
I found myself shivering during the Hoth scene, not because of the
imagery, but because of the air conditioning! Who would turn on the air
conditioning when it's 2 degrees outside? That sucked. Speaking of
suck, when one compares the top-of-the-line special effects of 1980 to
the special effects we all are used to today, one notices a huge
discrepancy. The tauntauns and AT-AT's in the Hoth sequences looked very
"stop-motion-y," which is what they were. Why weren't those things
Another thing I would have liked to see, but didn't, is the
additional footage concerning the Hoth Wampas that was originally shot
but cut out of the finished film. However, that's a negative point that
only a die-hard Star Wars nut like myself would pick out. Another thing
that only a Star Wars nut would pick out, Luke's line after R2-D2 was
spit out of that swamp monster on Degobah was changed! It used to be,
"You're lucky you don't taste too good." Now, it's "You're lucky to get
out of there." Why the change? WHY? I loved the old line. Even when
I was 4 years old, that was a great line.
Fortunately, those minor negative
points were vastly overshadowed by what was done to Cloud City on
Bespin. Cloud City is the location of the pivotal moment in the Star
Wars Trilogy, but for those of you complete losers who have never seen
any of the Star Wars movies, I won't give the secret away.
Anyway, Cloud City is now a beautiful, bustling city instead of a couple
obvious matte paintings. The improvements are so profound that it gives
the movie much more ambiance than before.
Also, for some reason, I
enjoyed the Yoda scenes more than any of my other 80-some thousand
viewings of the movie. Maybe it has something to do with seeing the
little guy on the big screen, I don't know. I also don't know if Return
of the Jedi, the final installment of the trilogy which promises more
additions, can top The Empire Strikes Back. Give me a couple
weeks, and you'll find out.